Last Monday, my friend Bruce called me around 5:30pm. Bruce works at Teen Mania, a large ministry based out in the Lindale area that’s responsible for massive conferences, mission projects and assorted ministries across the world.
In addition to the large conferences, Teen Mania also operates an ‘Extreme Camp’ at the ministry campus. The folks at TM put the camp on and host numerous churches throughout the week. They provide worship, but they also host some pretty impressive bands for concerts each night.
Bruce was calling to tell me that the David Crowder*Band was playing. He invited me to come out and for a few minutes, I didn’t think I could make it. Bruce made some calls and found out the concert was scheduled for 9:45pm. 9:45? Yeah…I can do that.
It was a great show, so I figured I’d review it and share a few thoughts:
- I was impressed with the clarity of the tunes. They sounded so much like the CD and yet still came off as ‘live’ music. (Which is sometimes a challenge with heavy loop or synth elements. DC*B balanced the programmed with the performance very well.)
- Crowder’s got serious vocal stamina. I never realized how high most of his songs are and he sang nine of them without letting up. Vocal strength for sure.
- From a songwriting perspective, the DC*B has a knack for infusing unexpected elements into so many songs. I’m always surprised at how skillfully they infuse joy and hope into songs with darker settings. Each song is most definitely a journey with twists and turns I often don’t see coming.
It was a great show and I was happy for the chance to see them live. I’ve listed their set below and added a few general impressions on some of the songs.
The Veil – I always skipped this one on Church Music, but hearing it live gave me a great appreciation for it.
No One Like You – It may be an old song, but the groove is undeniable when played by pros. And who’s more pro than the guys who wrote it, right?
Foreverandever, etc. – One of my favorites. Love hearing it. Had seen the whole 80’s reference thing before, so that felt a little tired, but I still had a blast hearing this one played.
Like A Lion – Dug this song on the Passion record and was so grateful to hear it. Something in this song feels so fresh, as if David and band stepped outside the box somehow. I can’t put my finger on it, but this song always seems a step ahead of the curve.
How He Loves – I’m one of the few people in the world who think this song is weird. (And I’m a John Mark McMillan fan.) Crowder’s live version was spot-on with the record, but didn’t do a ton for me.
Here Is Our King – I’ve always liked this tune. For some reason, the live version at the concert felt way too techno. Drums were right, but felt very thuddy and not as funky.
I Saw The Light/ I’ll Fly Away – Hard for me to like this tune as my father’s bluegrass group used to play it constantly. In addition, I’ve never really known if this piece was a true homage or a trendy send-up. But hey…it had mandolin and banjo and anytime I can hear that, it’s a good day.
Oh, Happiness – YES. YES. YES. Happiness indeed. The only problem with this song was that it was too short!
O Praise Him – Still a classic. Not much has changed about this tune over the years. Crowd loved it, though.